Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Grammy Winners

A complete list of winners in all categories can be found on the official Grammys site. Beyonce led the pack with six wins, followed by Taylor Swift with four. Lady Gaga only scored in the less prestigious dance categories.

Album of the Year
Taylor Swift, Fearless
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Beyonce, Halo
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Jason Mraz, Make It Mine
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Jay Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Run This Town
Best Rock Album
Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown
Record of the Year
Kings of Leon, Use Somebody
Best New Artist
Zac Brown Band
Song Of The Year
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), Beyonce
Best Pop Vocal Album
The E.N.D., The Black Eyed Peas
Best Rock Song
Use Somebody, Kings of Leon
Best Dance Recording
Poker Face, Lady Gaga
Best Electronic Dance album
The Fame, Lady Gaga
Best Remixed Recording
When Love Takes Over, DJ David Guetta

NOTE: Buju Banton DID NOT WIN for Best Reggae Album. That Grammy went to Stephen Marley for Mind Control.

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2010 Grammy Highlights

These clips won't last long on YouTube, obviously.

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You Can't Turn The Lights Off

Courtesy of 33 collaborators who were attending the Sundance Film Festival, here's a cute Schoolhouse Rock-ish take on the decision not to broadcast the Prop 8 trail. The message is that in world of live-blogging and Twitter, the words of bigots will be known. The video was made by HitRECord, which was founded by actor Joseph Gordon Levitt.

(Tipped by JMG reader Jessica in Salt Lake City)

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San Francisco Rickrolls Westboro

On Friday the Westboro Baptist Church descended on the San Francisco headquarters of Twitter, because God hates social networking. Or something. The above photo from the exuberant counter-protest was sent in by JMG reader Craig. Go here for many more hilarious signs.

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American Family Association Radio Host: It's Time To Imprison All Gays

American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer has called for sending homosexuals to prison for forced reparative therapy, a move he says is sanctioned by the Bible. Below, he responds to an email from a complaining listener.
Thanks for writing me about my comments on my program regarding homosexuality. It might be worth noting that what I actually suggested is that we impose the same sanctions on those who engage in homosexual behavior as we do on those who engage in intravenous drug abuse, since both pose the same kind of risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. I'd be curious to know what you think should be done with IV drug abusers, because whatever it is, I think the same response should be made to those who engage in homosexual behavior.

If you believe that what drug abusers need is to go into an effective detox program, then we should likewise put active homosexuals through an effective reparative therapy program. Secondly, I'm afraid you're simply wrong about the Bible's perspective on the law and homosexuality. Paul lists quite explicitly in 1 Timothy 1:8-11 the actions and behaviors that are the proper concern of the law:

"Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine..."

The bottom line here is that, biblically, those "who practice homosexuality" should come under the purview of the law just as much as those who take people captive in order to sell them into slavery. You express a belief in the Scriptures, and I trust your confidence in Scripture is not selective. If you believe all Scripture is inspired, then you are compelled to accept that legal sanctions may appropriately be applied to those who engage in homosexual behavior.
In November, Fischer called for banning all Muslims from the U.S. military. In addition to his radio show for the American Family Association, Fischer is the executive director of the Idaho Family Alliance.

Remember folks, the Christianist right is not about hatred and bigotry. It's about the gentle redemptive love of Jesus, forced upon you at the barrel of a gun in prison as they beat the gay out of you.

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Today In Unfortunate Names

(Tipped by fellow third grader Dr. Jeff)

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pickle Smokers & Creatures

The TSA has launched an investigation of employees at their Orlando field office after learning of an office board game being played to mock gays, women and minorities.
The board, resembling the TV game show "Jeopardy," includes categories such as "pickle smokers," "our gang" and "creatures," which sources said were names used by managers for gay men, African-Americans and lesbians. A photograph of the board was sent to CNN. The Transportation Security Administration confirmed the investigation in a written statement but did not elaborate on when the board was in use, where it was displayed or how it was used. "Following a referral from DHS Office of the Inspector General, TSA's Office of Inspection is conducting an ongoing investigation at the Orlando Field office," the statement said.
It's unclear how the game was played or whether the various categories represented points scored for singling out the targeted groups to harass them with extra security screening procedures. Everybody feel safer now?

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How To Out-Gaga Gaga

"Fever Ray is Karin Dreijer Andersson of the Swedish electronic duo The Knife."

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Tenth Annual Weblog Awards

Voting ends tomorrow in the Tenth Annual Weblog Awards, where this here website thingy writer is somehow nominated for a "Lifetime Achievement Award." I feel like Betty White! In a good way! You have to scroll horizontally all the damn ass hell to the far right to see my ballot. I love the far right! Anyway, this (I think) concludes this year's crop of blogger beauty pageants. Do check out the other categories, particularly photography, travel, and music. There's some great stuff there.

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Voters Love Chubbies?

A strange new study publicized in today's New York Daily News claims that when it comes to male politicians, voters prefer candidates with a little meat on their bones. Female politicos, not so much.
"A candidate's physical appearance plays a greater role in evaluation than we have thought in the past," said Dr. Elizabeth Miller," a political scientist at the University of Missouri and co-author of the study. "We assume voters only pay attention to things like issue position, but to think that they don't pay attention to physical appearance is a bit naive." [snip] In her study, Miller split 120 volunteers into four groups. Each group was presented with descriptions and photos of four separate phony candidates who had the same gender and body type: obese male, skinny male, obese female, skinny female. Within each group, each phony candidate's political views differed. The study subjects then rated the candidates based on a series of criteria, including honesty and ability to perform. The obese males were viewed 6% more positively than skinny males, while skinny women were viewed 5% more positively than their full-figured counterparts. Overall, obese females were viewed 10% less favorably than obese males.
The percentages don't seem that dramatic, but I guess maybe this might be something to consider when election margins are so often very close. After all, portly NJ Gov. Chris Christie only beat incumbent Jon Corzine by about 4 points. But even this researcher cautioned against giving her findings "too much weight." Snork.


Civil Unions Fail In Hawaii

Although the Hawaii House approved a civil unions bill last year, yesterday they voted to postpone a new vote indefinitely thank to enormous pressure from Christian groups. Last week the Hawaii Senate approved the bill by a veto-proof majority.
The state House, conflicted by emotion and election-year politics, voted yesterday to indefinitely postpone action on a civil-unions bill. The voice vote, which came after no debate, essentially kills the bill this session, since it would require a two-thirds majority to bring the bill back for consideration. Gay rights activists in the House gallery shouted for a roll-call vote on the motion, and when lawmakers quickly moved to other items on their agenda, several screamed "Shame!" as they walked out of the chamber. The state Senate approved a civil-unions bill last week that would give same-sex and heterosexual couples the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage under state law. The vote reached the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a potential veto, a signal to the House and Gov. Linda Lingle. The House, which strongly passed a civil-unions bill last session that would apply only to same-sex couples, also wanted a veto-proof majority. But only a majority of House lawmakers were prepared to vote for the bill yesterday, an indication that political pressure from religious conservatives, including thousands who rallied at the state Capitol earlier this month, had worked.
Visit my post of two weeks ago for copies of anti-gay flyers and parish letters sent out by the Hawaii Catholic diocese.

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How To Report The News

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Mrs. Tebow's Big Lie Of Omission

For weeks now, we've been inundated with Christianist propaganda about how Tim Tebow's mother made the Godly moral choice not to abort her son. Only now it turns out that the Tebows were living in the Philippines during her pregnancy. The Philippines, where abortion was and is illegal. Gloria Allred is on the case.
In her exclusive interview with Allred slams the ad and CBS's decision to air it, pointing out factual inconsistencies with Pam's story. One glaring one is the fact that the act of abortion is totally illegal in the majority Catholic country of the Philippines - under all circumstances including rape and incest, and even without a provision in the circumstance that the mother's life is in danger. The law has been in effect since 1930. Allred says she believes it an impossible scenario to believe that Philippino doctors would of ever suggested abortion as a viable option for Tebow in the first place. And when you learn that physicians and midwives who perform abortions in the Philippines face six years in prison, and may have their licenses suspended or revoked, and that women who receive abortions - no matter the reason - may be punished with imprisonment for two to six years, it's easy to see why.
Allred is threatening to sue CBS for false advertising, should the ad still run.

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More NOM Defeatism

Read and enjoy.
We are not hopeful that Judge Walker is going to do justice to the 7 million Californians who voted to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife–especially not after his rush to break all the rules to televise this trial resulted in the lost of key expert witnesses’ testimony. Respect for voting rights doesn’t appear to be at a premium these days among certain judges.
Ah, satisfying.

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Fireworks At Obama Q&A With House GOP

The president met with House GOP members today for an extended question and answer session that we're hearing got quite hot and heavy. I haven't gotten a chance to watch much of it yet, but here's the entire meeting.
In a session that resembled the British custom where a prime minister responds to questions in Parliament, Mr. Obama took questions from House Republicans, who pressed him on why he had disregarded their ideas and instead advanced what they called big government solutions rather than more surgical alternatives. Mr. Obama replied that he did consider many of the suggestions they had made over the past year and incorporated some of them into his initiatives but found others unworkable or simply political posturing. Rejecting the notion that he had pushed a “Bolshevik plot” on America, he complained that Republicans had caricatured him as a radical, making it harder to then sit down and compromise. The encounter at a Baltimore hotel was unlike any of Mr. Obama’s presidency. While he met with the Republican caucus once before and occasionally invites Republican leaders to the White House, they have never opened their dialogue to the public so it could be broadcast live on national television.

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CBS Rejects Mancrunch Super Bowl Ad

Entertainment Weekly reports that CBS has officially rejected the ad from gay dating website Mancrunch. Yesterday I posted the ad, whose low production values led many to suspect that the entire project was a prank on CBS.
CBS has decided it will not air an advertisement from gay dating website during Feb. 7’s Super Bowl XLIV, EW has confirmed. The ad depicts two football-watching men sharing a passionate kiss after their hands touch while reaching into a bowl of potato chips. “After reviewing the ad — which is entirely commercial in nature — our Standards and Practices department decided not to accept this particular spot,” a network rep said in a statement. “As always, we are open to working with the client on alternative submissions.” A rep for also confirmed the rejection and called the refusal to air the spot hypocritical. “We are totally of the opinion the ad was rejected due to the homosexual content,” spokeswoman Elissa Buchter said. She added, “The creative is PG-rated and doesn’t feature any tongue or overt sexuality.”

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iPad Vs. Stone

A little harsh, eh?

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This Is How You Do A "Gay" Ad

JMG reader Dave in the UK tips us to this great Renault ad.

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Go Daddy's Rejected Super Bowl Ad

Domain seller Go Daddy will have at least two commercials during this year's Super Bowl. According to the company, CBS rejected the below ad, which features an effeminate former football player turned fashion designer. Apparently CBS is worried about offending gay viewers. Worried about offending millions of pro-choices Americans, not so much.

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School Pulls Filthy Anne Frank Diary

A school system in Virginia has pulled a revised version of The Diary Of Anne Frank after a Christian parent complained about the book's inclusion of previously redacted bits about homosexuality.
Culpeper County public school officials have decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank's diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, after a parent complained that the book includes sexually explicit material and homosexual themes. "The Diary of a Young Girl: the Definitive Edition," which was published on the 50th anniversary of Frank's death in a concentration camp, will not be used in the future, said James Allen, director of instruction for the 7,600-student system. The school system did not follow its own policy for handling complaints about instructional materials, Allen said.
Anne Frank is in hell, you know, since she died a Jeebus-less Jew.

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Carried Through Manhattan

In order to prove that New Yorkers are friendly, comedian Mark Malkoff tried to see if strangers would be willing to carry him the entire 13.5 miles length of Manhattan. Last year Malkoff successfully completed his quest to make a purchase in all 171 Manhattan Starbucks in one day.

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American Anti-Gay Groups Continue Expansion In Africa

The anti-gay American Center For Law & Justice has opened a branch in Kenya, another ominous indication of the Christian right's continuing push to demonize gays in Africa. From their site:
The Christian response to all that is happening [in Kenya] has been ad hoc and reactionary. This has seen several laws passed that eroded the value system that we have known and held dear. The East Africa Centre for Law & Justice (EACLJ) is the response to this trend. The EACLJ aims to develop a Centre that will be credible and trustworthy in its information. This information will be used to inform the general public on issues of national importance being churned out of our parliament. It shall also be useful in lobbying legislators when debating and enacting laws. The Centre also aims to be a haven for those who find themselves in conflict with the law, especially over the exercise of their faith.
A 2007 survey in Kenya showed that 96% of those responding "rejected" homosexuality, the highest percentage in Africa. Homosexuality is illegal there and although few are prosecuted, the police routinely harass anybody they suspect is gay. So I'm not sure how the ACLJ can make things any worse, unless they're looking for another "kill gays" bill there.

Box Turtle Bulletin's Jim Burroway responds to the ACLJ's press release about Kenya:
Unmentioned is Uganda, which just happens to sit between Kenya and Rwanda, with Burundi further south. The ACLJ has filed friend of the court briefs in the U.S. against just about every LGBT-related case brought to the courts. Specifically, they vigorously opposed (PDF: 212KB/28 pages) overturning American anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas. In 1995, they also opposed overturning Colorado’s Amendment 2, which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down for illegally barring LGBT people from full participation in the legislative process. Since ACLJ now wants to meddle in the legal affairs of East Africa, now would be a good time for them to go on record with their position on Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

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Don Imus Endorses Marriage Equality

Speaking to Perry vs. Schwarzenegger lawyer David Boies by phone, wingnut radio talker Don Imus revealed that he supports marriage equality. THUD.

(Via - Queerty)

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Marriage Ban Passes Indiana Senate

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana thanks to a state statute. But the haters want a constitutional amendment so it will be extra double illegal.
The state Senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment on gay marriage on a 38-10 vote late Thursday afternoon. The last time the Senate passed the proposal, the Indiana House blocked the effort to send it to a referendum. Now supporters of a constitution ban on gay are restarting the five-year process. Indiana already has a statutory ban on gay marriage, so critics have charged that conservatives keep bringing it up as a potential campaign issue. They also charge that it would outlaw civil unions when attitudes are shifting. "There is poll after poll showing that the public's opinion on this issue is changing and it's changing rapidly," said Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson).
The bill is expected to die in the Indiana House.

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The Dirtiest Hotels In America

Via Trip Advisor. Times Square's Hotel Carter, which ranked #1 for three of the last four years, somehow does not appear on the latest list.

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Pee-Wee Gets An iPad

(Tipped by JMG reader BStewart23)

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Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2010

The publicists of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras sent us this promo clip this morning. Sigh. One of these days, one of the days.

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Maine Moving Forward With NOM Campaign Ethics Investigation

Poor NOM. After being practically laughed out of the courthouse for requesting a last minute stay, they learned yesterday that Maine will proceed with an investigation into their violations of the state's campaign finance laws.
Barry Bostrom, an attorney for the group that contributed $1.9 million to a campaign to repeal the state's gay marriage law, told the commission that NOM feels its 1st Amendment rights are being violated by requests for information about donors. He said because the state law is being challenged in federal court, it would be better to hold off on the state-level ethics investigation until that is resolved. But with a 4-1 vote, most of the commission members disagreed. "I understand concerns about duplicate efforts, but that's part of the hand we are dealt," said ethics commision member Margaret Matheson. "We're charged with ensuring that voters have that information and that's the crux of this investigation."
NOM has refused to submit their financial reports for their successful campaign to repeal same-sex marriage in Maine, saying that the state has no need to know where they got their money.

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Hillary: I'm Leaving Obama After 1st Term

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told PBS yesterday that she plans to leave the Obama administration at the end of the current term. Speculation as to what that means has begun.
It's hard for many politicos to imagine Hillary Clinton being content with "going back to private life and spending time reading, and writing, and maybe teaching, doing some personal travel," as she told Smiley. Though she lost the 2008 campaign, Time Magazine annointed her the "symbol of a movement that has come to represent the hopes and frustrations of millions of working-class Democrats." Should Democrats' discontent with the policies of the Obama administration increase, so may the speculation about her chances in 2012. Politically speaking, Clinton's acceptance of Obama's invitation to become Secretary of State was a brilliant move. Without stepping out of political life, Clinton has avoided a Congress where lawmakers have been forced to cast stigmatizing votes on health care, cap-and-trade, bailouts and stimulus bills. Whatever the results of the increasingly uncertain 2010 campaign season, she will likely walk away unscathed.

Did these factors play a part in her acceptance, and will her departure reveal further political ambitions? Might we see 'Clinton 2012: I Told You So' signs in the Democratic primary? No matter how many quotes there are to the contrary, the speculation may prove too tempting to resist. In the meantime, the Secretary of State seems focused on three more years of hard, important work.
You just know the PUMA sites are going crazy today.

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Study: 50% Of Gay Relationships Are Open

Following up on Joy Behar's widely reported comment about gay relationships and monogamy, today the New York Times published word of a new study which claims that 50% of gay relationships are non-monogamous.
A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution. New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.” The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer. None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage.
And now the rest of the world knows what we here always have.

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GLAAD Takes Out Full-Page Variety Ad Protesting Buju Banton's Grammy Nom

GLAAD has published out a full-page ad in the current issue of Variety to protest murder music reggae star Buju Banton's nomination for Best Reggae Album.
In an advert in Hollywood show business paper Daily Variety, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center urged Grammy organizers to use Sunday's televised ceremony to denounce music "that promotes or celebrates violence against any group of people." The lyrics of Banton's most controversial song "Boom, Bye Bye" in 1988, promote the murder of gay men by shooting or burning. Several of Banton's U.S. concerts were canceled by promoters last year after an outcry over his lyrics. Banton was quoted late last year as saying he saw "no end to the war" between himself and gay men. The Recording Academy has said that the Grammy Awards honor musical achievement "regardless of politics" and that artists from many different political and cultural perspectives have been nominated over the years.
Banton is presently in jail in Florida awaiting trial for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. He faces 30 years years in federal prison after attempting to purchase 11 pounds of the drug from undercover DEA officers.

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Clubs Survive NYC's Nightclub Smoking Crackdown (But Not The Gay-ish One)

It looks like four of the five NYC nightclubs set to be closed down for smoking violations have struck deals to live another day. Not surviving the city's wrath is Chelsea's M2 Ultra Lounge megaclub, host to the city's largest gay dance parties.
The Health Department's top lawyer sat down with reps for M2 Ultra Lounge in Chelsea after he said undercover inspectors caught patrons lighting up again and again. "We made it clear we will go forward and we are not interested in making a deal," said city lawyer Thomas Merrill. "I'm not going to do that when I'm not confident they can't commit to the Smoke-Free Air Act." M2 is the worst violator in the city. Evidence against M2 Ultra Lounge obtained by The News includes testimony and photographs of bouncers chatting with cigar smokers, cigarettes for sale in bathrooms and waitresses serving drinks to people with lit cigarettes in hand.
M2 is next door to the NYC Eagle, which has a dedicated smoking area on its roof and has not been cited in this latest campaign.

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Bronx Bear Cubs

For no particular reason, here's some cute bear cubs playing in yesterday's snow at the Bronx Zoo.

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NYC Cabbie Cell Phone Crackdown

NYC launches its latest and strongest campaign against cell-chatting cab drivers today with a three strikes system that will cost a driver his his hack license upon the third violation.
Taxi and Limousine Commission agents and NYPD officers will be on the lookout for drivers using any electronic devices while not legally parked, including iPods, GPS devices and satellite radios. Officials are also hoping that riders will report any hack in violation by calling 311 or logging on to the TLC's Web site and filing a report. "I'd report them," said Emily McCollun, 23, from the Upper East Side. "They're reckless drivers when they're having a conversation on the phone, whether or not it's hands-free." Other passengers said they would take matters into their own hands. "Now I will ask the driver, 'Why are you doing this, anyway? Why are you on the phone if you know the rules?' " said Mark Martin, who was catching a cab in the East Village yesterday. A series of new penalties will fine a driver $200 for each conviction and send him to a rules "refresher course." After a second infraction, the hack's license will be suspended, and after the third strike, revoked.
I can't remember the last time I had a cabbie who wasn't on his phone.

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Gaga + Vampires + Titan Media

I don't know if this is a fan clip or if Lady Gaga herself is behind it, but it's hot and weird and probably NSFW.

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Teabagger Convention Falling Apart

Next month's Tea Party Convention is falling apart over questions about where the money will go. Crazy-eyed Rep. Michele Bachmann has joined the list of those pulling out. Oh noes!
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has become the latest to pull out of a scheduled speaking gig at the controversial National Tea Party Convention next year. Like Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) earlier today, Bachmann's office cited concerns about the event's financial arrangements. Some Tea Partiers have accused the convention's organizer, Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation, of seeking to profit from the confab.
Reportedly Sarah Palin is also being pressured to pull out of the convention. She and WND founder Joseph Farah are scheduled to be the keynote speakers.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

LEAKED! Focus On The Family & Tim Tebow's Super Bowl Abortion Ad

(Via - Truth Wins Out)

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Thing II

Here's the link to that 2010 Bloggies Awards thingy again. I have no idea how I'm doing and Post Secret is probably kicking my ass and the ballot design is full of the bite and you gotta scroll all way to the right to find me. But you should at least check out some of the groovy sites nominated in the various categories. I've actually glommed onto a couple of very funky non-ghey ones that I'll add to the JMG blogroll shortly. I'm on the far right, for once. Rimshot!

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BREAKING: Pentagon To Announce DADT Repeal Details Next Week

This just popped up on Marc Ambinder's blog over on The Atlantic. This looks pretty major, folks.
Before President Obama announced last night that he would work with Congress and the Pentagon to end the military's ban on service by gays and lesbians, the White House consulted Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to sign off on the language he planned to use, administration officials said. They did. "The Pentagon is with us," the official said. And Geoff Morell, Gates's spokesman, e-mails me to say that "The Department leadership is actively working on an implementation plan and will have more to say about it next week."

So -- Obama's pledge to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell was more than words -- he's instructed the military to get it done as soon as Congress repeals the law. A Senate hearing is set for February 2, featuring testimony from Mullens and Gates. An outside hearing is set for February 11. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) doesn't know if he has the votes to cross the 60-person threshold in the Senate, but the expected endorsement by Mullen will make it difficult for opponents to argue that the military brass isn't ready.
Very promising!

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Tampa Town Hall: Obama Tap Dances Around Gay Marriage Question

At a town hall meeting in Tampa today, an audience member said to President Obama, "Last night you talked about DADT. My question is, what are you doing now to put it in motion so that same-sex couples, homosexuals, are treated as equal citizens as the United States, i.e. same-sex marriage and 1000+ benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy after marriage?" Obama responded by totally evading the question and talking about benefits for the domestic partners of federal employees. You should definitely pay attention to how supportive the audience was of the young man's question.

(Via - Firedoglake)

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Maggie Knows Prop 8 Is Lost (And It's All Because Of Violent Homofascists!)

Maggie Gallagher has posted a letter she sent to Perry vs. Schwarzenegger Judge Vaughn Walker, in which she complains that Protect Marriage's case was ruined, simply ruined, because of all those witnesses that fled the potential violent fury of raging homofascists.
The price of participating in a trial should not be the willingness to tolerate even a minimum of reasonable threats to one’s livelihood or personal safety. The Supreme Court stepped in to prevent the broadcast of these hearings. But it was too late. Expert witnesses had already dropped out. The trial had been changed, forever, by the mere prospect of television broadcast. Our case for Proposition 8 has been deeply harmed. The public record has been impoverished and the information available to reviewing courts permanently reduced all because some witnesses feared retaliation as a result of the publicity. I wish they had more courage, but I cannot view their fears as unreasonable. The first purpose of a trial is to do justice to the litigants.

As much as I would personally love to be able to see the Proposition 8 trial unfold in real time, I cannot contemplate the reasons why a court should subordinate justice to some other interest, whether it is public entertainment or public education. The purpose of a trial is not to educate the public. It is to do justice to the parties the court has permitted in the court room. Where there is a conflict, or a potential conflict, courts must adhere to their primary purpose and eschew any innovations that threaten that purpose. If television is ever to be permitted, it should only be when all parties to the litigation agree. Anything else is a travesty of justice, a subordination of the purpose of a court system to some other goal. Here’s the bottom line: If the Supreme Court should overturn Proposition 8 and find a constitutional right to gay marriage I will never know whether or not that would be a result of the haste to televise the trial. And it is to no-one’s interest that such a reasonable doubt should be thrown on the deliberations of the Supreme Court.
She is pre-arranging her victim status for her post-decision speaking tour. Delicious.

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Author J.D. Salinger Dies At 91

Famously reclusive and iconic novelist J.D. Salinger died in his New Hampshire home yesterday at the age of 91.
J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91. Mr. Salinger’s literary representative, Harold Ober Associates, announced the death, saying it was of natural causes. “Despite having broken his hip in May,” the agency said, “his health had been excellent until a rather sudden decline after the new year. He was not in any pain before or at the time of his death.”
I am 100% certain that the first time I ever saw the word "fuck" in print, it was in my hippie aunt's dogeared copy of Catcher In The Rye, which my horrified mother found me poring over during a summer of 1968 visit to NYC. I was only eight and while a precocious reader, I recall having had only a vague yet distinctly terrifying idea of what the word meant. Thanks to my Marine father, for whom swearing was a competitive sport, I had known it as a curse word, but unlike his usual litany of Catholic blasphemy, "fuck" seemed reserved for usage around his fellow jarheads only. I knew it was very unlike the other swears, but how, exactly, I wasn't really sure. Until that day with Catcher In The Rye.

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And Then The Robot Groundhog Became Self-Aware And Mankind Was Doomed

You know I can never resist a PETA story.
PETA wants to take Punxsutawney Phil away from Gobbler's Knob and give the little guy a dignified retirement at an animal sanctuary. In his place, you guessed it: A robot groundhog. Gemma Vaughan, PETA's animals in entertainment specialist, fired off a letter to groundhog club president William Deeley this week, asking for his promise that the group will forgo the use of real rodents in future Groundhog Day celebrations. Little Phil, Vaughan wrote, is a pretty unhappy fellow, "forced to be on display year round at the local library and is denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation." Groundhogs are typically shy creatures, Vaughan goes on to explain, and they can become easily upset when confronted by throngs of people, loud noises and camera flashes.
Hopefully they aren't already sold out at the Robot Groundhog Outlet!

(Via - Towleroad)

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CBS Considers Gay Ad For Super Bowl

All the blowback over Focus On The Family's anti-abortion Super Bowl ad may be having an effect at CBS, who is said to be considering accepting an ad from a gay dating site. Or at least, they are pretending to consider it.
The 30-second spot shows two men excitedly watching the game, before their hands brush as they both reach into a bowl of chips. Suddenly, the two begin making out, much to the shock of a guy sitting close by. According to a rep for the dating site, which operates under the slogan “Where Many Many Many Men Come Out to Play,” the ad was submitted on Monday, January 18th. When the site followed up on the status of the ad on Friday, January 22nd, they were told by CBS that “the spot hadn’t been officially approved yet" by network standards, and that "all the Super Bowl spots were sold out.” “ManCrunch requested the spot get reviewed anyway just in case another advertiser drops out and a spot becomes available, as often happens, and CBS agreed,” added the site’s rep.

ManCrunch officials said they believe CBS has no intention of airing a commercial for their gay dating service, "but do not want to officially ‘reject’ the spot out of fear there may be a backlash from gay advocacy groups.” However, a representative from the network told Pop Tarts that advertising spots were still open, and was unsure where that comment originated. “The ad is still under review, the process takes a little while,” a rep from CBS said. “We still have a lot of ads we have yet to review.”
I'd never heard of Mancrunch before this.

UPDATE: Here's the clip. It's not particularly offensive, not particularly inventive. The production values don't really scream "We have $2.5M to spend on the Super Bowl" either.

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Photo Of The Day

(Via - New Civil Rights Movement)

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BREAKING: Log Cabin Republicans Set New Record In Assholery

"President Obama is more concerned about protecting the rights of terrorists, than he is about the rights of gay and lesbian Americans who are putting their lives on the line every day fighting to preserve peace and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan and operate small businesses that are the backbone of the American economy." - Log Cabin Republicans spokes-twat Charles Moran.

Chuckie. Baby. We're all unhappy with the whole DADT thing. But we're not trolling Free fucking Republic for our talking points. SRSLY. I'm thinking those GOProud guys totally made the right call by ditching your tired ass. And fuck you for making me say something nice about GOProud. SRSLY.

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HomoQuotable - Lt. Dan Choi

"Last night, the President repeated his campaign commitment to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell as part of his State of the Union address. While the President promised that DADT would come to an end "this year," he did not provide specifics -- and the White House still has not released a plan to kill it. That's unacceptable. I served in the Army for a decade under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- an immoral policy that forces American soldiers to lie about their sexual orientation. Worse, it forces others to tolerate deception. As I learned at West Point, deception and lies poison a unit and cripple a fighting force. That's why I feel strongly that America can't afford to allow this policy to continue one day longer. The time for talk is over. The time for action is now.” - Lt. Dan Choi, via Wayne Anderson.

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The REAL Top Movies List

After Avatar became the highest grossing movie of all time earlier this week, many of you noted that because of inflation, gross revenue and ticket sales are two different measures of success. The Live Feed notes today that in terms of attendance, Avatar is actually the 26th most successful film of all time. Here's the top 20, by tickets sold.

1. "Gone With the Wind" (1939) 202,044,600
2 "Star Wars" (1977) 178,119,600
3 "The Sound of Music" (1965) 142,415,400
4 "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) 141,854,300
5 "The Ten Commandments" (1956) 131,000,000
6 "Titanic" (1997) 128,345,900
7 "Jaws" (1975) 128,078,800
8 "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) 124,135,500
9 "The Exorcist" (1973) 110,568,700
10 "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) 109,000,000
11 "101 Dalmatians" (1961) 99,917,300
12 "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) 98,180,600
13 "Ben-Hur" (1959) 98,000,000
14 "Return of the Jedi" (1983) 94,059,400
15 "The Sting" (1973) 89,142,900
16 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) 88,141,900
17 "Jurassic Park" (1993) 86,205,800
18 "The Graduate" (1967) 85,571,400
19 "Star Wars: Episode I" (1999) 84,825,800
20 "Fantasia" (1941) 83,043,500

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Notre Dame Students Protest For More Inclusive LGBT Policies

Spurred by the recent anti-gay cartoon published in the student newspaper, yesterday a large group of Notre Dame students rallied at the school's administration building to demand that the school president accept a letter calling for a more inclusive and welcoming campus environment for LGBT students.

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PA Politician: We Need A State Firearm

How in the world has Pennsylvania gotten along these hundreds of years without an Official State Firearm?
Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh County, is sponsoring a bill that would designate the Pennsylvania Long Rifle as the state’s official firearm. Pennsylvania would become the first state in the country to have a state gun, according to the National Rifle Association. To Browne and his supporters, the measure is a celebration of history and a decidedly Pennsylvanian contribution toward America’s independence. However, opponents say the idea of designating a state firearm is unthinkable, especially since Pennsylvania cities are scarred by gun-related crimes.
Just consider it his tribute to Killadelphia.

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Tired Old Queen At The Movies #16

His Bette Davis impression kills.

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Fox News Twitter Fail (w/Hooker Bonus)

Fox News reporter Major Garrett meant to send his Twitter followers a link to SOTU excerpts. Only the Bitly condensed link he used instead went to a Las Vegas call girl service. (NSFW) Las Vegas, where Garrett will be next week to cover Obama's stump speech for Harry Reid. But it was totally Bitly's fault! It maliciously screwed up his completely innocent link!

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More Crazy From The Whole Foods CEO

We already know that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey thinks that global warming is a hoax and that Americans have no inherent right to health care. The latest bit of crazy from crazy Mackey's crazy mind is a new employee discount policy. If you have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and a lower BMI (Body Mass Index), you get a bigger discount. Aside from the fact that those three factors, while important, are not necessarily predictive of good health, there's Mackey's "fatties shouldn't work here" message. The planned in-house screenings should be a riot. Participation is voluntary, just in case you don't want corporate all up in your business. But then you don't get the steeper discount on that $2 banana.

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Tony Perkins On DADT: Gay Soldiers Will Rape Your Christian Ass

"Last night in his State of the Union Address, President Obama repeated his call for Congress to repeal the military eligibility law that was passed in 1993, and to allow homosexual conduct within the ranks of the armed forces.

"This would put our military in the strange position of actively recruiting personnel who have an expressed intention to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which still prohibits certain forms of sexual conduct, including homosexuality). Forcing soldiers to cohabit with people who view them as sexual objects would inevitably lead to increased sexual tension, sexual harassment, and even sexual assault. America's military exists to fight and win wars --not to engage in radical social engineering." - Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who asks that you fill out the petition he's sending to every member of Congress.

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NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Goes After Internet "Discount Club" Scam

You know all those opt-out buttons for discount offers you sometimes get when you are finishing an online purchase? The third-party companies running those discount programs may be signing you up for recurring "discount club" membership fees without your knowledge, courtesy of the credit card information you supplied to the original retailer. NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is going after 22 retailers for their involvement in the scam.
Cuomo sent subpoenas to websites for major retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Avon and Staples, which have deals with three companies that offer such discount programs, namely Webloyalty, Affinion/Trilegiant and Vertrue. Cuomo said in a statement on Wednesday that his office also reached an agreement with online movie ticket retailer Fandango to end similar practices. Fandango is a unit of Comcast Corp. Cuomo's investigation has found that online shoppers are often unknowingly directed to a membership program seller's website that is separate from the online retailer's site. Information about the membership program and its ramifications are often buried in fine print and cluttered text, Cuomo said. For instance, a customer clicking on the link automatically and unknowingly consents to a transfer of his or her credit or debit card account information. "Well-known companies are tricking customers into accepting offers from third-party vendors, which then siphon money from consumers' accounts," Cuomo said.
The three third-party membership clubs being investigated bring in more than $1B annually, much of it fraudulently, according to Cuomo. One discount club employee told Cuomo's office that 90% of their billings were made without the customers' knowledge. Other companies being subpoenaed include Orbitz, Ticketmaster, Priceline, and Gamestop.

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Federal Gov't Challenges Mexico City's New Same-Sex Marriage Law

Mexico's federal government has filed a challenge to Mexico City's marriage equality law, saying it is dangerous to children. Or something.
The federal Attorney General's Office has challenged the law on the basis that it violates the constitution. The office has asked Mexico's Supreme Court to void the law because it “strays from the responsibility of the government to place a priority on safeguarding the interests of children.” Federal lawyers also argue that the city's civil union law grants gay couples virtually the same rights as marriage, except those related to children. City officials, however, said the action would not interfere with the start of the law, scheduled to take effect on March 4. In an interview with the Excelsior, Leticia Bonifaz, the city's legal adviser, said she was “totally confident that this is an issue of fundamental rights ...” The Roman Catholic Church and the conservative PAN party have widely criticized the law. Mexico's Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Noberto Rivera Carrera, has called the law “immoral” and “reprehensible.” PAN leaders have mounted a campaign to overturn the law.

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Vancouver Time Lapse

Beautiful photography and a gorgeous tune too.

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GOP Response To SOTU

Of course they gave the job to one of the newly elected GOP state governors. Cuz, you know, that was a message to America. Bonus points for the Scott Brown shout-out!

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Pelosi: I Have The Health Care Votes

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VIDEO: State Of The Union 2010

Here's the complete State of the Union Address. Check out the standing ovation from the Joint Chiefs at 59:00 when the president mentions sticking it to Iran over their nuclear program. But they remained seated with grim expressions at 1:03:00 when DADT is mentioned. You don't see that from this C-SPAN feed, but you do get a much better shot of the entire chamber and can see that majority of the GOP members also remained seated.

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McCain Responds To SOTU, DADT

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):
In his State of the Union address, President Obama asked Congress to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. I am immensely proud of, and thankful for, every American who wears the uniform of our country, especially at a time of war, and I believe it would be a mistake to repeal the policy. “This successful policy has been in effect for over fifteen years, and it is well understood and predominantly supported by our military at all levels. We have the best trained, best equipped, and most professional force in the history of our country, and the men and women in uniform are performing heroically in two wars. At a time when our Armed Forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy.
VIDEO: McCain responds to Obama's SOTU commentary on the economy and the federal budget.

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Open Thread Thursday

So. Feel better?

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reactions To SOTU Mention Of DADT

National Stonewall Democrats:
Tonight, National Stonewall Democrats commend President Barack Obama for calling for the end of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. We are concerned that President Obama did not address workplace discrimination during his first State of the Union address to Congress.
Human Rights Campaign:
With the President's leadership, now it is up to Congress to act. We're rolling out a new strategic campaign to do exactly that - put an end to the discriminatory law that's forced thousands of lesbian and gay members of the military to lie about who they are or face losing their jobs. We've spent months designing a plan to pass legislation which repeals DADT. The plan will include organizing veterans across the country, generating media coverage in key markets and building focused campaigns in targeted states that will be critical to securing the final votes in the House and Senate. First step: pushing legislation through the House by building a well-spring of support from representatives, while laying the groundwork for a critical fight in the Senate. Help us capitalize on the President's pledge tonight by asking your representative and senators to move quickly to repeal DADT. Tomorrow morning when Congress returns to work, we want to make sure their inboxes are flooded with emails echoing the President's call to repeal DADT.
Lambda Legal:
We have heard promises before about ending 'Don’t Ask, Don't Tell' and we welcome the President's statement tonight that the time has finally come to fulfill that promise. Very little has changed since Lambda Legal represented Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer 18 years ago after she was discharged for being a lesbian. Changing this discriminatory policy is long overdue. The military is our nation's largest employer and this government sanctioned discrimination must end. We will continue to advocate for the repeal of DADT so that gay and lesbian services members and their families can serve openly and with the same support afforded to other military families.
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force:
President Obama tonight vowed this year to work with Congress and the military to finally repeal the reprehensible ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. While we know the State of the Union speech aims to present broad visions, the next time President Obama speaks to or about our community, he must provide a concrete blueprint for his leadership and action moving forward — this includes his willingness to stop the discharges happening on his watch until Congress can fulfill its responsibility to overturn the law. The time for broad statements is over. The time to get down to business is overdue. We wish we had heard him speak of concrete steps tonight.
Equality California:
We appreciate President Obama reiterating his commitment to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but words do not end discrimination – actions do,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. “We call on President Obama to immediately cease discharging openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members and to take a stand for equality in the military. Thousands of LGBT service members have bravely served our nation, and they deserve the same protections as all Americans. We urge President Obama and Congress to act swiftly to overturn this discriminatory policy.
NOTE: All of the above quotes were delivered via press release. Expanded commentary may be found on the organizations' sites.

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Chris Matthews: I Forgot Obama Was Black For An Hour

UPDATE: Chris Matthews clarifies.

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VIDEO: Justice Alito Mouths "Not True" During POTUS Slam On SCOTUS

(Via - AmericaBlog)

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Photo Of The Day -Joint Chiefs Of Staff React To Obama's DADT Message

UPDATE: For those of you saying that protocol demands that the Joint Chiefs remain passive and non-reactive during presidential speeches, here's how they lept to their feet to applaud the president's threat to stick it to Iran over their nuclear program.

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ABC Cancels Ugly Betty

ABC announced today that Ugly Betty will end its run at the end the current season. After Elton's Ed Kennedy wonders how things will wrap up:
Does Betty marry Daniel? Does Wilhemina take over the world? Does Justin ever come out or get a first kiss? Can Marc and Amanda please have a spinoff? We don't have the answers to these questions, but we are working on them. Stay tuned for more information.
Vanessa Williams' Wilhemina was probably the best evil bitch character to hit the small screen since Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan. And the positive portrayal of show queen teen Justin was truly landmark television.

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Early AIDS Activist And Poltergiest Actress Zelda Rubinstein Dies At Age 76

Zelda Rubinstein, the tiny actress known for her iconic role in Poltergeist and beloved by gays for early work in AIDS activism, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 76.
Rubinstein, who also appeared as the mother figure in a high-profile mid-1980s public awareness campaign in Los Angeles aimed at stopping the spread of AIDS, died today of natural causes at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles, said Eric Stevens, her agent. Rubinstein was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center about two months ago after suffering a mild heart attack, Stevens said. "She had ongoing health issues and unfortunately they finally overtook her," he said. A medical lab technician before launching her acting career in her 40s, the 4-foot-3 Rubinstein made her film debut as one of the little people in the 1981 Chevy Chase comedy "Under the Rainbow." Among her other credits are the movies "Frances," "Sixteen Candles," "Teen Witch," "Anguish" and "Southland Tales" and the TV series "Picket Fences" on which she was a regular.
Older JMG readers may remember Zelda's famous and groundbreaking HIV prevention billboard campaign in Los Angeles, which proclaimed that "L.A. CARES Like A Mother." From a 1985 Los Angeles Times article:
Some city buses will begin carrying advertisements next month asking sex partners to "play safely" as a way to avoid being stricken by acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), despite fears that the ads will offend riders. The ads will appear in 80 Rapid Transit District buses beginning in June. The RTD originally refused to carry the ads but changed its mind after months of negotiations with L.A. CARES, the state-funded group sponsoring the ads. The ads feature an actress portraying a mother wearing an apron and holding a wooden spoon while saying, "Play Safely." Below is a caption which reads, "L.A. CARES . . . like a mother."
I believe Zelda's ad campaign was the first such publicly funded safe sex ad campaign. Can anybody verify that? Below is the Advocate's Neil Broverman's interview with Zelda made last last year.

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Tweet Of The Day

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State Of The Union Drinking Game

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The Typical Incendiary Blog Post

How not to blog and how not to comment, all in one hilarious read. I somewhat see this here website thingy in this post and you may see yourself in the comments. At the least, you'll see some of your fellow JMGers.

(Via - Andrew Sullivan)

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Straight-Up Chicken Abuse

I'm not sure why these things always happen on my line, but here's how a Gothamist reader recounts his experience on the 6 train last night.
We boarded the 6 train at 33rd street around 7pm last night, and noticed a large scarcity of passengers in one section of the train. Upon looking down, it I saw first a live chicken, then noticed it was wrapped in the loving arms of an apparent homeless man wearing at MTA shirt. He kept picking up the chicken, holding it over his head, kissing it, hugging it, and more inappropriate things that I will refrain from detailing. In the simple words of my fellow passenger, Charlotte, "That is straight-up chicken abuse." No one on the train was shy about photographing this man, as he was seemingly oblivious to his surroundings. It was truly an only-in-New-York event, a phrase that was uttered several times throughout the short ride.
An MTA spokesperson reports that the man appears to be wearing an MTA uniform, so maybe he's not homeless, he's just your average NAMCLA member and transit employee.

Naturally, this story takes us back to the below clip.

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Ted Haggard: I Am Cured Of The Gay

Ted Haggard and his wife appeared on Oprah's tribute show to cheated upon wives yesterday. According to Ted, he now lets his wife check in on his whereabouts via Facebook and Twitter so that she always knows he doesn't have a cock in his mouth. Because you can only use the internet in the presence of heterosexuals.
Former New Life Church Pastor Ted Haggard, who lost his Colorado Springs church and leadership status in the evangelical Christian community in 2006 after revelations of a relationship with a male prostitute, told "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday that he is rebuilding trust in his marriage by being "super accountable." Haggard said he regularly checks in with his wife, Gayle, and reveals his whereabouts on Facebook and Twitter. If he's out of town without her, he said, he stays with a pastor rather than at a hotel. Haggard said he no longer has homosexual compulsions but has "stepped up" to do this so his wife won't suffer any fear or anxiety about the future. Gayle Haggard's book, "Why I Stayed," was widely available Tuesday in bookstores. She told Winfrey they now have a stronger, better, more intimate marriage. "I love him more now after we've walked through all these difficulties together," Gayle Haggard said.
Just for fun, here's a rerun of Roy Zimmerman's 2007 classic.

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